A Message To Families That Believe We Dishonored The Dead At Anti-War Protest


It saddened me when I read that many of the Families of slain soldiers In Iraq and Afghanistan believe it dishonors the dead to symbolize the unnecessary American deaths that occur almost daily in the Middle-East. As of September 13, 2007, there have been:

4,075 coalition deaths — 3,776 Americans, two Australians, 169 Britons, 13 Bulgarians, one Czech, seven Danes, two Dutch, two Estonians, one Fijian, one Hungarian, 33 Italians, one Kazakh, one Korean, three Latvian, 21 Poles, two Romanians, five Salvadoran, four Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and 18 Ukrainians — in the war in Iraq as of September 13, 2007, according to a CNN count. (Graphical breakdown of casualties). The list below is the names of the soldiers, Marines, airmen, sailors and Coast Guardsmen whose deaths have been reported by their country’s governments. The list also includes seven employees of the U.S. Defense Department. At least 27,848 U.S. troops have been wounded in action, according to the Pentagon. LINK


I wasn’t able to attend the protest myself due to family health issues, however, my heart was with those who were able to travel to the Capitol and voice their dissatisfaction with a war that never should have been started – and If I was able, I would have been there too. I cannot speak for all, or any of the other Liberals, Progressives, Iraq War Veterans and even a few Republicans who have become disillusioned with this war and spoke-out this Saturday – but I feel it necessary to respond in defense to those that did have the courage to march on the capitol and love our country enough to risk the wrath of the government. People who protest against the Bush administration often wind-up on terrorist watch-lists and are categorized as “risks to national security” merely because they are attempting to educate and alert the rest of America to the tragedy and real facts the MSM refuses to report upon in regard the Afghanistan and Iraqi War(s).

Anti-War Protest in Washington, D.C.

160 arrested as thousands march against Iraq war in Washington

* Thousands of protesters marched from White House to Capitol
* Dozens arrested after jumping barricade at foot of Capitol steps
* Counterprotesters lined sidewalks, leading to heated shouting matches
* Nearly 1,000 counterprotesters gathered near Washington Monument

WASHINGTON (AP) — Several thousand protesters marched Saturday from the White House to the Capitol to demand an end to the Iraq war, and at least 160 people were arrested when they jumped a barricade at the foot of the Capitol steps.

Many of the protesters were arrested without a struggle after they jumped over the waist-high barricade. But some grew angry as police attempted to push them back using large shields. At least two people were showered with chemical spray. Protesters responded by throwing signs and chanting: “Shame on you.”

The arrests came after protesters initially decided to lie down on the Capitol lawn with signs on top of their bodies to represent soldiers killed in Iraq. When police took no action, some of the protesters climbed the barricade. MORE

When you glance at the headline, it appears that a few thousand people attended the protest, however as your read on, that number is estimated at close to 100,000, if not more. As you can see from the photo, there were many, many thousands who had the courage to march on the Capitol – although for all practical purposes, the MSM seems to be reporting as little as possible on this story. As the protests grow larger, and more Americans awaken to the fact that their President has mislead them, the real fury of the people will begin to manifest itself, and the cries for impeachment will grow louder by the day – and they won’t quit now; this was only the beginning!

Merrillee Carlson, national chair of Families United for our Troops and Their Mission, told Fox, “When somebody goes and abuses our son’s courage and heroism by using it in this manner, it just strikes right to the heart and causes such pain that is unbelievable.”

“I think the name ‘die-in’ is offensive,” suggested one of the Fox hosts, “but I want to ask you this. Most Americans, if you ask them, cannot name one soldier or marine who’s been killed in combat. … This arguably, at least, heightens the awareness that there are people, in fact, dying in this war. … Do you see any merit in that?”

“They’re not doing it in a way to honor them,” insisted Carlson. “They’re doing it in a way to abuse them. to dishonor them, because they’re using it anti-war. … The protesters are going against everything that these young men and women believed in and that’s what’s disgraceful about it.” MORE

I believe there was no intent to dishonor their sacrifice; The protester’s took great pains to make it clear they supported the troops, and speaking for myself – the soldiers who have lost their lives in the Iraq War are heroes, every one of them, and answered the call from our President (sic) to invade a country that posed no verifiable security risk to the United States; they reacted patriotically and joined the military to help fight who they believed were presenting a danger to the United States, and also believed that Iraq was at least partially responsible for September the 11th, 2001; We take issue that they were lied to and essentially tricked into invading a county that had nothing to do with 911 – nor did they possess WMD’s. Recent polls indicate that approximately 30% of American adults still believe that Iraq had something to do with 911, yet sixth grader’s in Georgia are being taught in school that Iraq had nothing to do with the carnage that pierced all of our hearts that fateful day, and I believe it’s time that those 30% who still actively support this war be made aware of the real facts so we can unite as a country and place the anger and blame where it belongs – squarely on the shoulders of President Bush and Darth Cheney!

I believe that we all share in your grief, but we also recognize that almost every day more families join the ranks of the grieving, and I think most believe it’s their patriotic duty to stand-up for what they believe in, and attempt to avoid thousands of other families from losing their loved one’s too – and allow a war-for-profit to continue at the expense of America’s sons and daughters. There were no WMD’s in Iraq, and while your sons and daughters were sent on a mission to prevent Iraq from harming the United States, we now know – without a doubt – the American people, Congress, and world leaders alike that the Bush administration lied and misrepresented the truth about Iraq, and your loved one’s were sent on a mission that was based on lies and fraud!

To most Americans except those who have suffered personal loss themselves, the war in Iraq is what we see on the news; yet when the fallen are returned home after making the ultimate sacrifice, the flag-draped caskets are brought in without any MSM news coverage, many times under cover of darkness, all because the Bush administration is attempting to minimize the shock to the American conscience as we see America’s fallen coming home – and are thus made aware that yes, real people are dying in Iraq, and it’s our duty to demand that we begin bringing our troops home so there will be less grief in America, and once again, we can begin the real fight against Al Qaeda and international terrorism.

Many of our most seasoned and patriotic General’s have had their careers cut-short for voicing their opposition to this war, and the terrible way it has been mishandled in Iraq; Some chose to end their careers and retire in protest and in an attempt to protect more of Americas sons and daughters from dying in a country most believe we should have never invaded… It was their responsibility to protect your families, and rather than lead them into a battle we have no business fighting and they spoke-out against this President in the only way they could. They resigned in protest, hoping the rest of our country would wake-up and understand why they refused to stay in the military and have their voices stifled, that they refuse to allow Americans under their command to be placed in harms way in an immoral and illegal war. Other military officers have had their careers cut-short and ruined because they stood-up for the troops and voiced their opposition against the Iraq War, and as compensation for them performing their service honorably, and voicing their concerns and beliefs as military law dictates, they had their careers ruined and were demoted or moved from their positions of command.

Unfortunately, now we are left with yes-men like Gen. David Petraeus who failed in the past, but was elevated in command because he supported and became a part of a failed Presidency and a war that cannot be won militarily; President Bush has stated the country is safer because of the Iraq invasion, however his words are disputed by his own party, and most of the great political minds of our century. Al Qaeda wasn’t active in Iraq prior to our invasion, but now it has become a virtual training ground for those who wish to attack America – yet President Bush states “America is safer.”

The problem is, we aren’t safer, and even the CIA Director has recently stated we are in the cross-hair(s) of another major terrorist attack against the U.S. Homeland! LINK A few days later, Michael Chertoff, Director of Homeland Security, also stated we’re preparing for a nuclear attack on the US Homeland, and that was just five days ago on September the 10th! LINK This Presidency has lost most of its core support, and every week we hear of more high-profile Republican defections. Our economy is in a horrible mess, and now Alan Greenspan has released a book highly critical of the Bush administration; LINK There doesn’t seem to be an end to the Republicans who have finally conceded that this President’s fiscal and foreign policies have brought the United States to the brink of an economic collapse, our military is dangerously stretched to the limit, and America is hated and feared by many nations who once were our allies.

This protest was never intended to disrespect those who died in the service of their country, and I apologize to any family that was offended; there have been thousands of Americas sons and daughters who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Iraq War, and we grieve for their families loss, but also strive to awaken and educate a nation so that other lives can be saved, American, Iraqi, and the countless innocents who are merely “collateral damage” to the Warmongers in the White House and the Neo-cons that still unabashedly support a President that has shown nothing but contempt for our Congress, the Rule of Law, and the Geneva Convention. Even as I write these words, Secretary Rice is attempting to solve the Iranian Crisis through diplomatic channels, but President Bush appears to be leaning towards Darth Cheney’s cabal of chicken-hawks that favor Israel attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities, which very well could be the precursor to World War III. LINK We used to be “a nation of laws”, but under the current administration, we resemble a “Nation of Outlaws”, feared and reviled as Imperialists and aggressors when not so long ago we were heralded as the world’s leading example of democracy and freedom!

Finally, please understand that it has almost been impossible to get the MSM to report on Anti-war demonstrations that occurred in the recent past, and even though CNN actually reported this protest on the front page of their website this morning, this afternoon it’s already off the front page, although O.J. Simpson being charged with Armed Robbery now seems to be more important than the thousands of people protesting this war and Presidency, 160 of whom were arrested and face charges for breaching a police line.

I wasn’t there except in mind and spirit, but it’s my belief that no disrespect was meant to those whom have perished in the service of their country. Instead, we believe they were dishonored by those who lied and connived the Congress and our allies into believing that Iraq possessed WMD’s and was a threat to our country and the stability of the Middle-east, yet now that we’re there, the military has admitted that Sadamn Hussein was the buffer and mortal enemy of Iran, and ultimately, the invasion of Iraq was a mistake. Whether you agree or disagree with their methods, those that protested against the War in the Nation’s Capitol this weekend were attempting to kick-start the process of bringing our troops home as quickly as possible to save America’s sons and daughters from further death and disability – and if some thought they were dishonoring their loved ones, I am sure that was never their intention. Just because you disagree with a sitting President doesn’t mean you don’t love your country or honor those that have fallen in battle – and remember, many of those who were protesting had lost members of their own families, and also had served in Iraq themselves.

William Cormier

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